Autonet Mobile's TRU Technology performs these premier functions automatically and transparently for the user and their vehicle as it moves between towers and low/high speed networks. Autonet Mobile builds the in-car router and is a full service ISP. The company is able to manage and maintain customer connectivity from end-to-end using TRU Technology and provide a quality of service that is impossible to achieve otherwise.
TRU Link Management
Autonet Mobile's TRU Link Management module monitors and maintains the connectivity to a cellular carrier's 3G network. Each in-car router has a daemon that runs a proprietary algorithm for monitoring connectivity to wireless networks. The TRU Link Management daemon is able to automatically analyze and transmit corrective actions quickly and transparently for the user. Autonet Mobile routers have been designed to establish and re-establish connectivity in milli-seconds so that the end user never even notices an issue occurs.
This algorithm is also designed to work independent of the physical layer of the network, so it is able to not only support the EVDO, 1xRTT networks, but also HSDPA, LTE, WiMax, or any future network to come.
Autonet Mobile devices actively manage TCP sessions by acting as a TCP proxy for all TCP sessions. This results in faster and more reliable connection in a mobile wireless environment.
In a network like Autonet Mobile's where the end user is highly remote and mobile, it is crucial that Network Operations Center (NOC) personnel be able to remotely troubleshoot and diagnose network issues without requiring the vehicle to come in for a service call. It is also important that the NOC personnel are armed with reliable data and tools they can effectively repair problems.
Remote software updates
Autonet Mobile is able to remotely update the software of its in-car routers from our NOC in a manner that doesn't impact the user's traffic. Our three classes of updates include:
- Local update: For a specific in-car router.
- Group update: For a particular affinity group (i.e. OEM, fleet, etc.).
- Global Update: For all in-car routers.
Problems should be identified and rectified before a user calls to complain. Rather than relying on users to use the network 24/7 and report problems in a timely fashion, Autonet Mobile's TRU Network Management system uses a probe installed on our routers to reach the services required day and night, and report the problem to a central TRU Manager.
Our probe monitors key network elements. This algorithm is easily configured using a centralized GUI in the NOC. When a problem is detected, the TRU Probe automatically performs debugging functions to determine the extent of the problem with a report of the problem. This saves time in isolating the problem and precludes the NOC personnel from performing debugging manually. Individual in-car routers or groups of routers can be configured with unique alarm and escalation profiles so that appropriate notifications of problems can be made.
Due to the availability of wireless spectrum being inherently limited and expensive, it is essential that Autonet Mobile be able to manage and optimize content as it is sent to the car. There are several key aspects of this that allow Autonet to effectively manage network usage.
The Autonet in-car router is capable of prioritizing traffic based on traffic type and/or source/destination of the traffic. This allows Autonet to ensure that prioritized data is sent out in a timely manner. Additionally, Autonet is able to traffic shape other data flows to ensure that they don't use too much bandwidth. This is especially important with applications such as Sling TV, where the application will use all available bandwidth. With our traffic shaping capabilities, we can limit a 1Mbps streaming media flow to a more manageable 300Kbps flow. This allows us to manage our bandwidth without having to restrict customers from running certain applications.
Remote software updates
Autonet is able to remotely update the software in the remote in-car routers from our NOC. Our three classes of updates that can be sent out include:
1. Local update: For a specific in-car router.
2. Group update: For a particular affinity group (i.e. Avis, Sun Micro, etc.).
3. Global update: For all in-car routers.
In addition this content can be trickled out at configurable rates and priority so that this traffic does not impact the user's traffic.
The Autonet in-car router has local storage that can be used to store local content or applications. This can be used for storing things such as:
1. Music/video files
3. Web portal contents
4. Enterprise intranets
Autonet currently has 500M available for storing content that is flash based and therefore relatively easy and inexpensive to increase storage amount. This content can also be trickled out at configurable rates and via priority so user traffic is not impacted.
The Autonet in-car router has the capability to cache web content, as well as perform active pre-fetching of content based upon a user's surfing profile
The Autonet Mobile in-car router is equipped with a serial port that allows external serial devices such as a GPS, telematics interface, scanner, and point-of-sale terminals to be plugged directly into it. With Autonet's Device Management process, Autonet is able to make this serial device available anywhere on the network; either on the local wireless LAN or anywhere on the Internet.
Future applications may include allowing remote mechanics to access the cars diagnostics BUS for troubleshooting, a local bar-code scanner to connect to a remote server, or allowing a credit card processing machine to connect to a remote cash register, etc.